Jul 11th, 2011
There's a lot of excitement in the city, but sometimes you have to step back from it for a while to see the big picture behind the Big Apple. That's what happened to Anna Mumford, who's working on a documentary film, Mumford Farms
, now in its final leg of fundraising. After working tirelessly for various food justice causes and filming urban farms, local food advocates and events, she took a stint on her family's farm in Indiana, and came back with a sharper sense of how our food system works.
From Homeland to Heartland: Support Mumford Farms, A Documentary on Food
Jun 30th, 2011
Since starting this blog, I've been on a mission to explore all sorts of ways (and reasons) to enjoy a home-cooked meal in the city. And I'm impressed by the variety of them that seems to grow every day. Furthermore, many of them share the same values about food -- fresh, seasonal, and conscientiously produced. Here's one great revelation that's come to home cooking in Brooklyn, a new start-up by Quinn Fitzgerald called Feast Upon.
A Chat With Feast Upon Founder, Quinn Fitzgerald
Jan 4th, 2011
If you have attended a tasting event held by the Greenmarket, Edible Manhattan/Brooklyn or Just Food, chances are you've seen Jacques Gautier. He's the guy flipping fresh masa tacos before the longest line of people waiting for a bite. Jacques also does this (as well as preparing a hearty menu of fresh, seasonally-inspired Latin cuisine) at his Park Slope restaurant, Palo Santo. As the chef/owner/rooftop gardener of the restaurant, he has a lot on his hands everyday. Yet he still finds time to engage in community events and cooking classes, such as a recent class at Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center in Gowanus.
Here’s Lookin’ At You Cook, Jacques Gautier
Aug 25th, 2010
I was at a backyard party in Brooklyn a few weeks ago hosted by my friend June. I'd been to her paella party at about this time of year last summer, and so I knew what kind of yumminess to expect from this event. I got there a little late, again. June was just adding the shellfish to a paella pan, plunking clams and mussels hinge side down into the rice. The wide, cast-iron pan was placed on top of a blazing hibachi grill on a small space of concrete. On top of another grill, there were sliced zucchini just going down, the smell of blackened shisito peppers was in the air, and trays full of grilled sausages, browned chicken, rabbit meat and beans flocking the station all told me that June had been laboring over open fire for some time now. My cocktail, served up by a guest/friend behind a makeshift bar, must have gone straight to my sun-weary head. I stood before the barbecue, transfixed, and watched the mussels and clams slowly open in the pan and continue to gape wide, as if they were all preparing to sing the Hallelujah chorus.
Here’s Lookin’ At You Cook (Paella), June Russell
Jun 9th, 2010
It's summer. There's produce, plenty of it local. It's coming to supermarkets, restaurants and Greenmarkets throughout New York City. But one place you won't hardly ever find it at is a bodega, those convenient, often round-the-clock shops where you can get toothpaste and telephone cards or tonight's dinner of ramen and chips. Unfortunately, this is the only type of grocery store that exists in increasingly more communities here.
That's why the Healthy Bodegas Initiative was formed in 2005, aimed at increasing access to fresh food and improving the health of all New Yorkers through its bodegas. Targeting the most underserved areas, or healthy "food deserts," the mission has partnered with many bodegas and local organizations, such as the Greenmarket of Grow NYC (previously called CENYC). Check out Kerry Trueman's great interview with the initiative's founder, Donya Williams, on Food Systems NYC. And read below for an interview with Justone Bossert, Director of NYC Operations for Red Jacket Orchards, an upstate, family-operated fruit farm that's joined the cause.
Help Healthy Bodega Initiative & Red Jacket Orchard Bring Local Produce to Bodegas
Apr 23rd, 2010
Just a year ago, I was the only kid at the SXSW Interactive conference without a smart phone; I wasn't on Twitter; I rode a rusty bike to get around (at least until the chain broke), and I didn't bother to bring my six-year-old PC laptop with me there, or anywhere, because it didn't work unless it was plugged directly into an outlet. My philosophy was, "If it ain't broke don't replace it," and my pride, making the best of what was already available. I was a "minimalist," both in and outside the kitchen. Well, the times are changing, but that moniker still has significance. Because longtime food writer and author of my absolute favorite column, Mark Bittman, has teamed up with Culinate and Wiley & Sons to release an electronic application of Bittman's classic cookbook, How to Cook Everything
. I have it on my iPhone now. And soon, five of you can too, for free, by answering a question below.
Win the How To Cook Everything iPhone App (and a conversation with Mark Bittman)
Mar 27th, 2010
I get off on people doing really bold, honest and active projects with the best of their integrity and muscle. When they happen to involve potlucks, bike riding and healthy, local food, I kind of go all apeshit with appreciation. So I'm very excited to share with you what Aaron Zueck and Robert DuBois are embarking on this summer. Bikeloc is what these two friends are calling their summer-long bike tour across America, in which they hope to connect with local communities through food. And in turn, help America become better connected with their food. They're throwing twelve potlucks in various cities, where they'll be cooking local farms' food, and encouraging others to bring something to the table. Think the Eat-In initiative from Slow Food USA last summer, only a better name for theirs might be Eat-On-The-Road. To kick it off, Aaron and Robert are also hosting what sounds to be a crazy fun fundraiser right here in Brooklyn. Read on for the event info...
Bike to the Potluck!: A Q&A with Aaron and Robert of Bikeloc
Feb 21st, 2009
There were many things that blew my socks off at a dinner Sunday night, held in a cozy Brooklyn ground-floor apartment. The basil-ricotta gnocchi was one of them. The lamb pot pies (above) were definitely another. But the one thing that really struck me the most was when, while casually biting off chunks of his garlic sauce-smothered lamb breast and duck fat confit hors d'oeuvres, Tamarack Hollow Farm founder/farmer Mike Betit said, "The first two years [of starting his farm], I lost money. The third year, when I started selling at the NYC Greenmarket, I broke even."
Here’s Lookin’ at You Cook, Mike Betit
Dec 5th, 2008
What’s more fun than cooking, learning and eating together spectacularly? If you’re someone like me, the answer is nothing. If you’re someone like Michael J. Cirino, founder of the educational workshop and supper club A Razor, A Shiny Knife – no wait, scratch that. There is no one on the planet like Michael J. Cirino. I guarantee you that.
Here’s Lookin’ At You Cook, Michael J. Cirino
Oct 7th, 2008
Look, I tried to make this interview not come off so cheesy. I tried to avoid the corny jokes and snafu of food puns that riddled my last in-depth profile. But seeing as cheese and corn are both main ingredients of Emily's signature "Seduction" Casserole, Mac and Corn 2.0, the conversation naturally veered off to the deliciously lighthearted. And that's not such a bad way of describing her just-published cookbook, Casserole Crazy: Hot Stuff for Your Oven!
Here’s Lookin’ at You Cook, Emily Farris
Aug 8th, 2008
This Sunday marks the fourth installment of the sporadic but spectacular home cooking challenge known as the Chili Takedown. Here’s what the event’s honorable chairman had to say about chili, everyone’s favorite late-summer light meal.
10 Questions with Matt Timms, Founder/Host of Chili Takedown
Jul 25th, 2008
Here's a project I'm truly proud to have my name attached to: The Neighbors Project. And the nifty new "Bodega Party in a Box" from the non-profit organization's Food & Liquor store initiative, which aims to put more fresh produce on the shelves of corner stores (aka bodegas). Inside the box, there's a cookbook filled with bodega-friendly recipes, tips and fun anecdotes from contributors (including the lovely Daisy Martinez, and yours truly) about their favorite bodegas, a silk-screened Baggu reusable shopping bag, a stack of party invitation cards and envelopes, and some flags to deck your pad with.
It’s a Bodega Party in a Box! and chat with Kit Hodge, The Neighbors Project
Apr 9th, 2008
In my kitchen, no less! The author of the just-released manifesto for meat lovers, The Shameless Carnivore
, Scott Gold paid a trip to my humble 'hood this weekend for a rather labor-intensive interview. With three squabs in tow, he test-drove a recipe for pigeon pot pie that he's contributing to a certain casserole cookbook. (These profiles just keep getting better -- pretty soon I'm going to have all subjects air-mail me samples of their cooking before we begin. Kidding.)
Here’s Lookin’ at You Cook, Scott Gold
Nov 6th, 2007
It’s November and the end of the warm water surf season, that is, to New York-based surfers like Ben Sargent. To the rest of us average human omnivores with tastebuds that signal richness, warmth, nostalgia and most of all deliciousness, however, it is most certainly the beginning of chowder season. Fortunately for us, Brooklyn's own Chowder Surfer is here to share both of these high seasons all year 'round. Ben Sargent, self-taught chef, former proprietor of New York's surf bar Hurricane Hopeful, and star of the only online TV series chronicling the adventures in chowder-making via surfing (or is it the other way around?), was kind enough to chat over a steaming pot of home-cooked chowder for this blog.
The Chowder Surfer in the Rye: Cooking with Ben Sargent
Jul 17th, 2007
Hey there, lonely cooks: It's our time to shine. Today, Riverhead releases the anthology, Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone
, edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler. Judging from its impressive collection of witty, confessional and highly entertaining stories, the kitchen may just be today's literary equivalent of what the bedroom was in the 1970's.
Here’s Lookin’ at You Cook: Jenni Ferrari-Adler
Jun 11th, 2007
the cheese blintzes recipe test-drive: practicing and making perfect so that you (hopefully) won't have to
I'm ecstatic to pick the brain of veteran food critic, cookbook author and food history maven, Arthur Schwartz in this installment of Here's Lookin' at You Cook. The Brooklyn-born, bred and based author is not short on answers to all inquiries food-related, having authored books like, "What To Cook When You Think There's Nothing in the House To Eat" and, most recently, "New York City Food: An Opinionated History and More Than 100 Legendary Recipes," -- an epic study of the city's rich culinary past and present and a must-read for anyone who thinks they have an opinion about New York food (ahem, bloggers).
Here’s Lookin’ at You Cook: Arthur Schwartz
Nov 21st, 2006
Maybe "cook" isn't the right word in this case. This is a truly special installment of Here's Lookin' at You Cook (albeit my second), one of a New York exile. As long as I've known him (since his jew-fro-sporting high school days), Michael Manning has been a connoisseur of all things delicious. After living in Manhattan for a few years working for NBC, Manning surprised us by doing something that we all should have done: he took an English teaching job in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (aka: the farthest Western desert of China), packed his bags, and hasn't really come back since. No longer teaching, Manning’s moved on to writing guides for Fodor’s, upkeeping his blog and world’s largest photo gallery of the Xinjiang region on The Opposite End of China, and helping start up a sundried tomato operation as the Vice-President and Quality Manager of Demeter Foods.
Here’s Lookin’ at You Cook: Michael Manning
Nov 19th, 2006
For any of you foodies living in or around Williamsburg, Brooklyn, there's finally a place where you can go and everybody knows your name. No, it's not a bar, it's a kitchenware and specialty foods shop called The Brooklyn Kitchen. I had the pleasure of watching the shop's first gathering this evening on "A Different Way to Bird": how to de-bone a turkey, just in time for Thanksgiving. I've noticed in magazines and cooking shows how popular this method has become as an alternative to roasting a whole turkey with bones. It takes a bit of skill with the knife, but after a quick informal session like the one The Brooklyn Kitchen offered, pretty much anyone can give it a go.
The Brooklyn Kitchen takes apart de-boning a turkey
Oct 8th, 2006
For my first Here's Lookin' at You Cook profile I had the lucky opportunity of dining with the multi-talented actor, writer, and home chef Bob McClure. You might recognize him from the critically acclaimed online TV show, The Burg, but you might be even more interested in his critically acclaimed family-owned pickle line, McClure's Pickles.
The kitchen of the well lived-in Williamsburg apartment that Bob shares with a roommate has all the tell-tale signs of tinkering: food processors and blenders of all shapes and sizes line the back of the counter, a wheatgrass juicer is lodged onto an edge of the kitchen table, and not too far away, a tomato plant and sheet of wheatgrass compete for the sun against the kitchen window. Making a presence on everything from the top of the cabinets, cardboard boxes on the floor, and on top of the microwave are jars of pickles at various stages of sourness. Bob claims he is the first family member to experiment with the 50+ year-old family recipe for spicy garlic dills that his great grandmother instilled. He produces a jar of somewhat discolored, though not uncrisp-looking asparagus with cherry peppers and hairy dill submerged in a yellow-green brine as evidence, not yet mature enough to taste. (A previous experiment was one that Bob was fool enough to try--pickles brined with the smallest and hottest of peppers which I cannot for the life of me remember the name of, but that the farmer at the farmer's market laughed when he purchased more than one.)
the curious asparagus incident
classic spicy garlic wholes with wild dill
Here’s Lookin’ at You Cook: Bob McClure